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Ted E. Bear Hospital

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Hudson is the sweetest baby on the planet. Sure, he cries, but mostly when he wants something, he simply squawks like a teradactyl. So last week when he started fussing non-stop, I knew something was really wrong. As the day marched on, he grew more and more inconsolable. I ended up rushing him to the doctor where he was diagnosed with a bad ear infection. Because he’s still so tiny, it scared the living daylights out of me.

Maisie? She took it like a champ playing games non-stop on my iPhone ignoring all the scary exams Hudson was enduring. Of course, her reaction is a roll of the dice when it’s her turn. It helps that she absolutely loves her doctor (as do I), but even so, sometimes things go well. Sometimes they don’t. When she went for her two-year-checkup, she freaked, I mean really freaked. A couple of weeks later, I took her back for a flu shot and she didn’t bat an eye. I think it was partly because she knew what to expect the second time. A longer nap before also probably helped.

All little kids get a bit wigged out at one time or another when they go to the doctor’s office. A visit to the hospital is all the worse. A big part of that is that they don’t know what to expect and everything seems strange and scary. That’s just why White Plains Hospital does this really cool thing called Ted E. Bear Hospital.

Kids are invited to bring their favorite stuffed animal (and adult or two) and tour the hospital’s brand new emergency room. Teddy will get an x-ray, have his blood pressure and heart checked and oh so much more. The hospital started the program last year and it was such a hit that this year they’ve added another piece: an operating room tour, as well.

The idea is that by putting the furry friends through the paces, kids learn about things like stethoscopes and x-ray machines. Fears melt away and the tots leave feeling a whole lot better about doctors and hospitals. If God forbid something does happen down the road and a trip to the ER is required, then it’s not quite so scary.

Even better, White Plains recently revamped it’s ER and there is now a special area for kids called the Pediatric ER. It has all sorts of toys and games – even Wii stations – to distract kids from uncomfortable procedures. The hospital gave me a tour when it was still in the process of being completed. Later – after Hudson was born – I was sent there to the ER with a migraine they feared was a spinal headache. It wasn’t. Let me tell you, that’s not a bad place to feel bad. Both my kids were born at White Plains and both were in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). It’s a Level 3 NICU which means it’s darn good. I can’t say enough good things about the folks in the Labor & Delivery and NICU areas. It seems the ER is more of the same.

At Ted E. Bear Hospital, they’ll also provide snacks and giveaways. If you ask me, that’s a pretty cool way to spend a day with a youngster age two to ten. Not bad for an adult to pass time either.

This year, Ted E. Bear Hospital will be on Saturday, November 4tth from 9:00AM to noon. If you want to go, you need to call 914-681-1119 to reserve your spot. Oh, the best part? It’s free.

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